Apple Watch rollout vs. original iPhone rollout

On today's earnings call, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple is struggling to keep up with demand but hopes to begin selling Apple Watch in additional countries by June.

With that, a few people quipped on Twitter that Apple is botching the rollout, with nine months passing between its announcement and its second launch wave. In reality, however, the Apple Watch rollout isn't that different from the rollout of the original iPhone:


  • Jan - announced
  • June (5 months later) - launched in US
  • Nov (another 5 months) - available in 6 additional countries

Apple Watch

  • Sept - announced
  • Apr ( 7 months later) - launched in 9 countries
  • June (another 2 months) - expected to be available in more countries

Sure, there are some differences. On one hand, for example, the company has more capacity than it had for the original iPhone. On the other hand, the Apple Watch is launching in more countries and in many more models. Overall, I think the comparison to the iPhone rollout is a fair one.

There's no doubt that Apple is struggling to keep up with demand. The folks at Apple are learning about product mix, likely working out early production issues, and even figuring out how best to sell the device. But as for botching the rollout, it doesn't look that way to me.

Update: Brian Stucki pointed out that carrier involvement probably slowed iPhone's rollout. Perhaps that accounts for the longer period between iPhone's initial launch and second launch wave (as compared to Apple Watch).